Design and development of touristic products Main author: Gábor Michalkó Szilvia Boros, János Csapó, Éva Happ, Pál Horváth, Anikó Husz, Mónika Jónás-Beri, Katalin Lőrinc, Andrea Máté, Gábor Michalkó, Erzsébet Printz-Markó, Krisztina Priszinger, Tamara

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Figure 1

Source: HCSO

Rural tourism accommodations in larger numbers can be found in North Hungary, West Transdanubia and South Transdanubia in the first place, these regions concentrate almost 60% of all capacities. The biggest number of village hosts and accommodations – 39% of hosts and 41% of accommodation, respectively – were registered in North Hungary. The number of village accommodations was the lowest in Central Hungary, with only 2% of all such accommodations in the country (Figure 2).

Table 1

Capacity of village accommodations within ‘other’ (until 2009: private) accommodations, in 2009 and on 31 December 2010

Type of accommodation

Number of hosts

Number of rooms

Number of beds

Number of beds incl. extra beds

Village accommodations 2009





Village accommodations 2010





Source: HCSO

As a consequence of the introduction of volume limit for village accommodations (see Government Decree No. 209/2009), the capacity of village accommodations was almost halved (Table 1). The intensity of decrease, however, varied across the regions. In Central Hungary and Middle Transdanubia the number of settlements falling out of the circle of rural tourism for administrative reasons after the “limits” introduced is smaller, while in North Hungary and in the Great Hungarian Plain the difference is considerable. This also means that, besides a decreased capacity and number of guests, the positions of Central Hungary and Middle Transdanubia in rural tourism decreased by 2010 in the new composition. The volume limit set in the legal regulation (239/2009) meant that in 2010 beds in settlements with over 5,000 population, including Great Plain towns with scattered farms on their outskirts, or rural parts of Transdanubian small towns, were no longer registered as village accommodations. Due too this volume limit village tourism can only be registered in settlements below a population density of 100 persons /km². These administrative rules worsened the positions of rural tourism.

Figure 2: Breakdown of the beds of village accommodations by settlements, 31 December 2010

Source: HCSO

Looking at the performance of rural tourism in 2010, the number of foreign guests fell by more than half in village tourism that represented 14% of all ‘other’ accommodations (Figure 3), parallel to the decline in the number of domestic guests (by 45%). The altogether 126 thousand guests spent a total of 371 thousand guest nights at village accommodations, and almost 92% of them were domestic guests. The largest number of guests was registered in North Hungary (50 thousand guests), while the least popular rural tourism destination was Central Hungary (with 3 thousand guests). The number of guest nights followed the decrease of the number of guests, the fall was almost 50%. The number of foreign guest nights decreased by 63%, the number of domestic guest nights fell by 47% from the previous year, which meant a total decrease of 49% in the number of total guest nights.

Figure 3

Source: HCSO

The majority of guests in rural tourism since the late 1990s are definitely Hungarians (Figure 3). The proportions of foreign and domestic guests were almost equal around the millennium, since 2011 a significant rearrangement has taken place. In 2008, the best year of rural tourism so far (744,243 guest nights), the number of guest nights by domestic guests was approximately six times higher than the number of nights spent by their foreign counterparts.

Among the Selected Holiday Regions of Hungary it is the Mátra-Bükk Selected Holiday Region where hosts have the largest capacity of rural accommodations. The total of 3,6 thousand beds were occupied by 20% of all guests, one thousand foreign and 25 thousand domestic guests in the year in question (Figure 4). Besides the Mátra-Bükk Holiday Region, larger numbers of Hungarian guests arrived at the Tisza Lake Holiday Region and the Mecsek-Villány Holiday Region, which was also shown in the number of guest nights (21 thousand guest nights and 20 thousand guest nights, respectively).

Parallel to the decrease of the registered capacity of rural accommodations, the share of domestic guests went on increasing (Table 2). The figures of 2010 demonstrate that rural tourism is pursued in more than 90% by domestic guests in Hungary. The indices generated from the number of guests and guest nights have not changed significantly in the last two years. The decreasing number of foreign guests spent a lower number of nights in rural tourism on the average, unfortunately.

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